Quick Draw Anatomy for Anaesthetists

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A novel concept!

Joanna Oram Fox is a senior registrar in anaesthesia in Cardiff. And she sent us a rather nice book in the post!

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We all remember sitting on the train to London, pulling into Euston station becoming more and more tachycardic as the platform approached! The FRCA examinations were either that day, or the next….and the journey was crammed with attempts to squeeze in as many practice anatomy diagrams (and every graph we could squeeze in too), before we rolled into the college, or went to sleep that evening!

Anatomy was often the nemesis for many of us…and relied upon a rather good visual memory, which not all of us possess. So, making things easier and more memorable had to be the way forward. I always say this with reference to my infographics, Dave Lyness’s amazing work, Aoife’s notes and Hugh Gifford’s doodles…images speak 1000 words!

Back to the point in hand! You WILL come across that cheeky examiner who’s mouth can be seen to rise on one size with a snide smile, as he or she asks you to reproduce some intricate anatomy on a blank sheet of paper thrust before you. I remember sitting there myself, attempting to draw out the Circle of Willis, various diagrams of the brachial plexus and other parts of the human body.

Joanna obviously empathises with this pain, as she came up with the concept of this brilliant book! What if you could break the entire body down into extremely simple diaphragmatic schematics? And, what if you could be shown step-by-step how do draw them? As I said above, most of us have reasonable visual memories, but for those who struggle, more constructed systems of drawing are undoubtedly gold dust.

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What about the book then?

Joanna starts with a section on “how to use the book. She has clearly colour-coded each important sub-anatomical group, so that it’s easy to understand and remember. It’s Green for nerves, blue for veins,  red for arteries and black for other structures.

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Section 1 – head, neck and neuro anatomy.

This section is certainly an area loved by the primary and indeed the final FRCA. She takes us through how to draw base of the skull, the motor and sensory innovation of the face, the trigeminal and other major nerves you need to know about. Anything intricate, she takes you through a killer system to remember how to draw it by.

Section 2 – the vertebral column

The epidural, space, spinal cord, paravertebral spaces and lumbosacral anatomy are all sketched out for us.

Section 3 – Cardiac

Joanna chooses cardiac anatomy carefully. This focusses upon what you are most likely to be asked about. So, coronary arteries and venous drainage of the heart sit here, rather than the intricacies of valvular anatomy.

Section 4 – Airway and Respiratory

Includes the bronchial tree, the larynx, the thoracic inlet, the intercostal nerves, ribs and the diaphragm (including what pierces it where…another examiner’s favourite)!

Section 5 – the Abdomen

Includes the abdominal aorta with its branches, the coeliac plexus, abdominal wall, spleen, liver and a detailed nephron diagram.

Section 6 – The Upper Limb

All blood vessels and nerves of importance are here, including the brachial plexus and axilla.

Section 7 – The Lower Limb

The same is done here, as was done with the upper limb.


Should I buy this book?

In summary, this is an extremely novel concept. And the way things are broken down is sickeningly good and systematic! Anatomy can be dull, but Joanna makes it interesting and memorable with Quick Draw Anatomy for Anaesthetists. For me this book deserves a clear 10/10. It is simple and I believe a must for all anaesthetic trainees and, or anybody else for that matter who is going into any exam requiring knowledge of simple anatomy. I certainly wish I had possessed this book for my primary and final FRCA examinations, but never mind…that was a while ago now!

Buy it here now!!

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Review by Jonny Wilkinson


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